After more than three years of implementation marked by numerous false starts and partial delays, next Tuesday promises to be red-letter day for the controversial Affordable Care Act (ACA). Stakeholders on all sides of the healthcare debate will be on the edge of their seats as some of the ACA’s key provisions roll out.
Oct. 1 marks the deadline for both state and federal online Marketplaces (formerly known as Exchanges) to begin open enrollment in Qualified Health Plans, with coverage taking effect Jan. 1, 2014. Many stakeholders in the health care debate will be closely watching to see how the Marketplaces fare next Tuesday and beyond. Backers of the law have already begun downplaying the significance of this implementation date as only a starting point, likely meaning that agents should expect the launch to get off to a rocky start.
The Federally Facilitated Marketplaces (FFMs) will receive the most scrutiny, as the federal government will be running the vast majority of Marketplaces in the country. Because the Obama Administration has not released any detailed plan or pricing information for FFM states as of press time, many experts believe these Marketplaces will likely get off to a rough start as well. The Administration has released a report with an overview of plan and pricing information, but this seems like more of an attempt to get ahead in the political messaging battles to come.
Other factors will likely contribute to enrollment numbers that are lower than expected, such as the delay in employee choice in the small group (SHOP) Marketplaces, as well as the delay in the enforcement of the employer mandate.
Please check back to the front page of our website for more information starting Monday September 30th.